Cancer Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis


Most of us know loved ones who have been affected by cancer. Fortunately, many cancers can be treated successfully and even cured if diagnosed correctly and in a timely manner. However, a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer due to medical negligence can have a devastating impact on someone’s life.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a term used to describe a broad group of illnesses which share certain key characteristics, such as the growth of tumours. There are around two hundred different types of cancer, each with its own name and type of treatment. According to the Irish Cancer Society, an estimated 44,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is also the leading cause of death in Ireland today.

Testing for cancer

Cancer testing can take many different forms, from various methods of biopsy and lab testing to imaging tests. These tests are analysed and interpreted by pathologists, whose expertise in disease enables them to recognise cancerous cells and diagnose patients accordingly.

Of course, no test exists that can diagnose cancer for certain. We rely upon the need for medical professionals to interpret test results clearly and accurately in order to diagnose cancer correctly. It is also worth noting that abnormal test results do not always indicate the presence of cancer in patients, making it more difficult to diagnose correctly. 

Cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis

 Cancer testing is a long, arduous, and highly subjective process for patients and medical professionals alike. Unfortunately, this means that it can be subject to human error and negligence. As such, cases of misdiagnosis and late diagnosis due to medical negligence are not uncommon during the testing process for cancer.

Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer can sometimes occur as a result of non-referral by a GP, leaving a patient untested and therefore at risk of becoming sicker. Another reason could be that pathologists and specialist consultants fail to detect cancer due to incorrect methods of testing. Late diagnosis can also arise from administrative issues, such as delays in processing test results or misfiling patient records.

In each of these cases, it may be possible to claim medical negligence with regard to patient care. As a result of sub-standard treatment by medical professionals, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer can lead to a higher risk of patient harm and further medical malpractice.

 How we can help

At Whelan Law, we are committed to achieving the best outcome for each and every one of our clients in cases of medical negligence. If you feel that you have been impacted negatively by a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer, our experienced team will be happy to assess your case and determine whether your claim is viable in law. As with all our clients, we aim to ease your concerns and assist you every step of the way.

Call us at +353 (0) 62 61110 or visit to arrange a private consultation today.